Affinity Health’s Top 10 things to think about before starting a family
Are you thinking of starting a family? While raising a baby doesn’t come with an instruction manual (how we all wish it did), Affinity Health says it helps to consider a few things before the pitter-patter of tiny feet.
Whether you can afford a baby is just one of many things couples should consider when deciding to start a family. From nappies to child care to teenage braces, middle-income parents can expect to pay over R20 700 000 in expenses for one child by the time they reach 23 years old, and a large portion of the spending starts in the first year. Cost aside, there are a few other things to consider before starting a family, from your new family’s healthcare needs and physical wellbeing to planning for your child’s education.
Here are 10 things to think about before starting a family:
- Hereditary possibilities: It’s important to look into the hereditary possibilities from both sides of the family. If there’s a possibility of having twins? Have you considered the possibility of hereditary conditions and disorders being passed on to your baby? It’s important to discuss any concerns with your healthcare before having a baby.
- Quality healthcare: From antenatal care and childbirth to babies, toddlers, tweens, and teens, having comprehensive healthcare for yourself and your family at all stages of life is vital. Choose a cover that is suitable for the needs of a growing family.
- Education: The more time you have to save, the bigger your education fund will be when your child starts school. Research the right policy for you and your budget and commit to saving for your child’s education.
- Make plans: While most moms will get four months’ maternity leave when their baby arrives, it’s important to consider what will happen after you return to work. Having a “work” plan in place before starting a family can alleviate future stress and possible friction between you and your partner, ensuring you’re both in agreement on how you will generate income.
- Start with a clean track record: We live in an uncertain economic environment. As such, we need to ensure that we are well equipped to manage unnecessary expenses should they crop up at any time. Being blacklisted could mean struggling to get access to credit. It’s best to get your finances in order before starting a family.
- Get expert advice: Working with a financial adviser to save effectively for your child’s future means you don’t need to grapple with this daunting responsibility on your own. It also means you will devise a strategy that is sustainable and do-able without financially burdening your children or community down the line.
- Prepare for the unexpected: Having an emergency fund in place for the uncertainties of life can ensure you have money when you need it most and is especially important when thinking of starting a family. It’s also important to have policies in place in the event of loss of income, sickness, death, and disability.
- Split the costs: Consider setting up a joint bank account to which both spouses contribute every month. This can be used for future expenses that will vary over time, such as extra murals, extra lessons, school trips, and so on.
- Be prepared to make lifestyle changes: Your income will largely determine the type of lifestyle you lead but remember, with the added pressure of being a parent, you may be forced to consistently assess your lifestyle choices. For example, while you may want to buy a bigger car or house for your growing family rather delay that and put that money aside in a savings account.
- Set priorities: If you’re considering starting a family, it’s helpful to remind yourself of what is most important to you. When we’re working towards something that’s important to us, we’re often more willing to work harder to reach our goals. There are many stressors that add a level of complexity to beginning a family, and it’s important that both you and your partner are on the same page.
About Affinity Health
Affinity Health aims to provide premier quality, affordable medical insurance to South Africans. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service when they are faced with injury or illness. We work to deliver innovative solutions that are simple, cost-effective and proven, so our cover is structured to ensure that you get exactly what you need. For more information follow us on Facebook, and Instagram.